Hayfever diet: Two natural antihistamines worth eating to ease symptoms – Dr Hilary

Dr Hilary warns against sticking garlic up nose to relieve hayfever

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A quarter of the adult population suffer from hayfever, Doctor Hilary Jones told ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday, May 10. “That’s 10 million people in England alone,” the doctor exclaimed. If you would like relief from an itchy throat, headaches, sinusitis and general hayfever symptoms, antihistamines foods could play a helping hand. “Vitamin C is a mild, natural antihistamine,” said Dr Hilary; foods containing vitamin C include citrus fruits, such as oranges, kiwi, lemon, and grapefruit.


“Antihistamines block the effects of a substance called histamine in your body,” the NHS explained.

Histamine is released when the body comes in contact with an allergen, such as pollen.

When histamine is released into the body, the blood vessels expand and the skin swells to help protect the body.

The release of histamine causes an allergic reaction that leads to the unpleasant symptoms associated with hayfever.

Addressing a viral video on social media app TikTok, where cloves of garlic are put up people’s nostrils, Dr Hilary said “it’s disgusting”.

While garlic does have antihistamine properties, which makes it ideal to eat when dealing with hayfever, stuffing a clove up the nostril is not effective.

Such a move, however, “will create a temporary outpouring of mucus” due to irritation.

Dr Hilary advised people to not follow the viral “hack” as it can cause the nose to bleed.

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The doctor added that it will “not stop pollen” from entering the nostrils, but putting a bit of Vaseline there will.

Other “simple” hacks that do work, according to Dr Hilary, include wearing wraparound glasses when outside and showering as soon as you come home.

Dr Hilary also recommended that people keep their eyes peeled to the weather forecast.

“Friday [May 13] is going to be a bad day,” said Dr Hilary, referencing the “higher temperature”.

“Avoid early morning and early evening,” he advised, “as pollen rises in the sky and falls to the ground as the air cools.”

People can also breathe a sigh of relief as Dr Hilary clarified that only first generation, “drowsy” hayfever medication is in short supply.

“There are 90 different products that treat hayfever,” Dr Hilary assured, adding that there is “plenty” of non-drowsy products to choose from.

Hayfever medication can come in the form of tablets, capsules, liquids, sprays, creams, lotions, gels, eyedrops and nasal sprays, the NHS noted.

Which hayfever medication is the best?

“There’s not much evidence to suggest any particular antihistamine is better than any other at relieving allergy symptoms,” the NHS stated.

Finding the best type of medication that works well in alleviating your symptoms is a process of trial and error.

What may work immensely well for one person may not have such a strong protective effect on someone else.

Non-drowsy medication, however, is generally the better option as it doesn’t make you feel tired throughout the day.

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